American Barberry, Berberis canadensis
Berberidaceae or Barberry Family

Low woody shrub, about 2 ft tall with thin thorns on branches.  Leaves in clusters, oval, with teeth on the margins.  Flowers bell-shaped, hanging, yellow, with a notch in each petal. 

An attractive native shrub, but relatively rare and threatened in many parts of its range.  In Wildwood, grows along the woodland edges on the eastern slope of the park; particularly common along the Grand Staircase.

One of the threats to this plant is replacement by Japanese barberry (B. thunbergii), an invasive exotic introduced from Asia as an ornamental.  This species also occurs in Wildwood.  It can be easily distinguished by its leaves, which have no teeth.



Flower closeup

Fall foliage